BRUSSEL-SMITH, Bernard

Creator

BRUSSEL-SMITH, BERNARD
United States, 1914 - 1989
Bernard Brussel-Smith was born in 1914, raised, and lived most of his life in New York City, a constant source of imagery for the artist from Depression-era 40's, and the post-war 50s until his death in 1989. He studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the New School for Social Research in New York, studying lithography with Roy Cleveland Nurse and Henry McCarter. He later discovered engraving when he attended courses at the New School for Social Research in New York, studying under wood engraver Fritz Eichenberg beginning in 1941. He proved adept at the precise medium, and Eichenberg soon elected him for the position of teacher's assistant. Wood engraving would become Brussel-Smith's preferred medium for the next five decades. Brussel-Smith established himself as America’s foremost wood engraver, capturing the lives of the American urban working class during the 1940’s and 1950’s. He taught art classes at the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper Union, City College and the National Academy. Although Bernard spent most of his life in the New York area, he managed to travel widely and regularly spending many summers with his wife, Mildred, and son, Peter in France. From l957 to 1958 he studied with Stanley William Hayter in Paris, developing a form of relief etching inspired by the process used by William Blake. Brussel-Smith supported himself through work as a commercial artist and illustrator, and was hired by publications such as Life, Reader's Digest, Time and The Saturday Evening Post, as well as major corporations including Seagram's and the pharmaceutical company Smith, Kline & French. He was widely known for his posters of the New York Auto Show in the 1950’s and 1960’s. However, his commissioned work was not always relegated to commerce. His fine art pieces often depicted the lives of ordinary citizens – on the subway, in the city and countryside, sailors, fishermen, street musicians, railroad workers – and his work became synonymous with American working-class life.

Citation

BRUSSEL-SMITH, BERNARD, United States, 1914 - 1989, and Bernard Brussel-Smith was born in 1914, raised, and lived most of his life in New York City, a constant source of imagery for the artist from Depression-era 40's, and the post-war 50s until his death in 1989. He studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the New School for Social Research in New York, studying lithography with Roy Cleveland Nurse and Henry McCarter. He later discovered engraving when he attended courses at the New School for Social Research in New York, studying under wood engraver Fritz Eichenberg beginning in 1941. He proved adept at the precise medium, and Eichenberg soon elected him for the position of teacher's assistant. Wood engraving would become Brussel-Smith's preferred medium for the next five decades. Brussel-Smith established himself as America’s foremost wood engraver, capturing the lives of the American urban working class during the 1940’s and 1950’s. He taught art classes at the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper Union, City College and the National Academy. Although Bernard spent most of his life in the New York area, he managed to travel widely and regularly spending many summers with his wife, Mildred, and son, Peter in France. From l957 to 1958 he studied with Stanley William Hayter in Paris, developing a form of relief etching inspired by the process used by William Blake. Brussel-Smith supported himself through work as a commercial artist and illustrator, and was hired by publications such as Life, Reader's Digest, Time and The Saturday Evening Post, as well as major corporations including Seagram's and the pharmaceutical company Smith, Kline & French. He was widely known for his posters of the New York Auto Show in the 1950’s and 1960’s. However, his commissioned work was not always relegated to commerce. His fine art pieces often depicted the lives of ordinary citizens – on the subway, in the city and countryside, sailors, fishermen, street musicians, railroad workers – and his work became synonymous with American working-class life., “BRUSSEL-SMITH, Bernard,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed September 25, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/4676.